This month, the Mind's Eye presents a new prestige class with a darker side, a prestige class for the religious psionic folk, and a new creature to add to your campaign.
"I can use you."
As psionic characters grow in ability, they search for ways to improve themselves, for they are their own source of power. In their studies of their own minds and bodies, they encounter limitations and work for ways to overcome them. Most develop mental techniques to increase their capabilities, while others discover items that can help their powers grow.
Some, however, follow a darker path.
The body leech is one of these. She has found she does have limitations, but these limitations can be overcome easily. There is power everywhere, walking around villages and cities. Every person is a cognizance crystal just waiting to be captured and exploited. The body leech knows just how to accomplish this.
Hit Die: d4.
To qualify to become a body leech, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any evil.
The body leech's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All the following are class features of the body leech prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Body leeches gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Powers Known: At every level except 1st and 4th levels, a body leech gains additional power points per day and access to new discovered powers as if she had also gained a level in whatever psionic manifesting class she belonged to before she added the prestige class. The body leech does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). This essentially means that she adds the level of body leech to the level of whatever manifesting class the character has, then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.
If a character had more than one manifesting class before she became a body leech, she must decide to which class she adds the new level of body leech for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Drain Cocoon (Su): The body leech has the ability to drain ability points from creatures trapped in her cocoons (see stasis cocoon and greater stasis cocoon, below). As a free action, the body leech can deal ability damage to a creature she has trapped in a stasis cocoon or greater stasis cocoon. Drained victims must make Will saves with a DC of 10 + 1/2 the body leech's character level + the body leech's Wisdom modifier. Victims who fail their saves take a number of points of temporary Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution damage as chosen by the leech, the body leech gains 2 power points for every 3 points of temporary ability damage inflicted. Only one victim may be drained per round.
If a trapped creature's Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution scores reach zero, that creature can no longer be drained (and see ability drain in the Glossary).
The power points the body leech gains are treated as stored power points from a single source, and they follow the normal rules concerning stored points (see page 64 in the Expanded Psionics Handbook). Each use of this ability creates a separate source of stored power points. Power points gained through this power remain available for a number of rounds equal to 1 + the body leech's Wisdom modifier (minimum 1 round) and are wasted if not used before they expire. The size of hosts, number of cocoons, and maximum distance between the cocoons and leech are given on the Cocoon Drains table.
For example, Zolga, a psion 11/leech 1 has a victim in her stasis cocoon (Str 12, Dex 9, and Con 12). She decides to drain 9 from each stat of the victim. The victim fails his save and Zolga gains 18 temporary power points. The victim can no longer be drained as his Dexterity is now 0. She has a Wisdom modifier of +6 therefore the temporary points are a viable source for 7 rounds
Table: Cocoon Drains
**At 5th level, one of the cocoons may be prepared as a cheat death host. This cocoon cannot be used as power point source.
Stasis Cocoon: At 1st level, the body leech adds stasis cocoon to her list of known powers.
Create Tether Hound: At 2nd level, the body leech adds create tether hound to her list of known powers.
Stay Conscious (Ex): At 3rd level, the body leach gains the benefits of the Diehard feat.
Greater Stasis Cocoon: At 4th level, the body leech adds greater stasis cocoon to her list of known powers.
Cheat Death (Su): Once per day, when a body leech would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, or other attack that deals damage, but not from a nondamaging effect), the body leech may attempt a DC 25 Will save to cheat death. This is treated as true mind switch, however the body leech does not need to know the true mind switch power, expend any power points, or loose any experience points when using the ability. The body leech need not be aware of the attack to use this power, but the body leech must be conscious and able to mentally act. The body leech also must have a living creature trapped in a stasis cocoon or a greater stasis cocoon that is within the maximum distance of link range (see Table: Cocoon Drains); the leech must designate the trapped creature as her host for the cheat death power. While so designated, the creature cannot provide power points for the body leech's drain cocoon power, and designating a cheat death host is a free action on the turn when the body leech first traps the victim in a cocoon. Thereafter, the body leech can designate a new host from among all the creatures she has trapped in cocoons. This requires a standard action and the leech must touch the new host; the previous host remains trapped in its cocoon, but immediately ceases to be the cheat death host, no matter where it is in relation to the body leech.
When the body leech uses this ability, the host does not get a save to resist but the ability fails unless the trapped creature's Hit Dice are low enough to make it vulnerable to the body leech's mind switch power. If the ability works, the life force and soul of the victim trapped in the cocoon goes into the body leech's dead or dying body and the body leech's life force and soul goes into the trapped body. The body leech can free herself from her own cocoon as a free action.
Table: The Body Leech
This power draws forth and encases one unconscious creature in strands of ectoplasm. The power keeps the creature in stasis for the duration of the power. The creature cannot act and it does not perceive anything. Affected creatures can be freed by outside help only. The strands have a hardness of 17 and 30 hit points. Destroying the strands releases the victim from stasis. If the victim is not released from the cocoon before the power expires, it dies.
Anyone viewing the body leech with truesight or similar ability will see a dark shadowy tendril attached to the leech and leading to the cocoon.
Augment: For every 4 additional power points you spend, this power can trap a creature of one size category larger (as limited by the Cocoon Drains table).
Create Tether Hound
This power creates a tether hound from the raw ectoplasm of the Astral Plane. To manifest this power, the body leech must have a free stasis cocoon to which to attach it. Only one hound can be attached to a cocoon, and no hounds can be attached to a cheat death host cocoon.
Augment: You can augment this power in one or both of the following ways.
1. By spending 4 additional power points, the body leech can have the hound transport its cocoon down another of her tendrils to the location of her other cocoons.
2.For every additional power point spent, the hound gains 2 Hit Dice and +2 Strength.
Greater Stasis Cocoon
As stasis cocoon, only with range, and the target need not be unconscious.
A large canine made of wispy purplish black ectoplasm bares its teeth in a snarl, revealing a darker essence within.
A tether hound appears to be a canine created from the stuff of shadows, though in essence, they are a specialized form of astral construct. They are quite large, standing 6 feet at the shoulder. If a viewer uses true seeing, he can also see a black cord that connects the hound to a stasis cocoon created by a body leech.
A tether hound understands Common and Draconic, but it cannot speak either language.
Tether hounds attack anything within range of their cocoon that is not a body leech or another tether hound. They have no restraints and attack only to kill -- they do not stop until the target is dead, has fled out of its range, or has destroyed itself.
Their favorite mode of attack is to ambush prey as it enters its area of patrol.
Aurasense (Ex): Tether hounds know when any entity enters the range of its tether. It loses this ability if the cord is severed. The hound does not know the intruder's exact location, only the presence of one or more creatures within range.
Tether (Su): A hound's tether is 30 feet long for each Hit Die the hound has. As noted earlier, a hound cannot move farther away from its cocoon than its tether allows. A slashing weapon with a magical enhancement bonus of +1 or higher can sever the tether. The tether has a hardness of 5, and Armor Class of 17, and 15 hit points. If severed, the tether reattaches itself in the following round.
When the tether is severed, the hound can take only single actions, and it cannot use its psi-like abilities or its aura sense power. Even though it is no longer attached to its cocoon, a tether hound still cannot move farther from its cocoon than its tether length allows. For example, a tether hound with 6 Hit Dice must remain within 180 of its cocoon, even when the tether is severed.
Psi-Like Abilities: A tether hound can manifest body adjustment as an 8th-level psychic warrior. They cannot use this ability if the tether is severed.
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